You may have sustained a mild sprain to your wrist, but this is more than an inconvenience since it will cause you to lose time at work.
You injured your wrist picking up a box of copier supplies and now you cannot type without pain. Can you file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits?
You may think that only serious issues such as broken bones, chemical burns or head trauma make injured employees eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. However, according to a study of 1.5 million workers undertaken by The Travelers Companies, most claims originate because of common injuries. Strains and sprains occupy first place at 30% of total claims followed by cuts or punctures at 19% and contusions at 12%. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also finds that hospital emergency rooms see as many as 2,000 work-related eye injury cases daily.
Sprains, strains, punctures and cuts happen in all business environments, but slips, trips and falls plus material handling issues most often occur in the manufacturing, construction and retail industries. On the construction site, eye injuries can result from small particles such as cement chips, wood chips or metal slivers scraping the eyeball. Industrial cleaning products or chemicals can burn the eyes and, in the most serious cases, staples, nails or slivers of metal can penetrate the eyeball and cause permanent blindness.
Be aware that you only have 30 days from the date of the injury to notify your employer who will then file a claim for workers’ compensation on your behalf. You should hear from the insurer within 14 days. If the company denies your claim, this is not the end: You can appeal the decision. Remember that while workers do suffer serious and sometimes life-changing injuries, strains, sprains, punctures and cuts are among the most common reasons for filing claims for workers’ compensation benefits.